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My February birthday fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black it now over. I sincerely and with deep gratitude thank all those who donated. Without your support I could not keep doing this, not so much because of the need for income to pay the bills, but because it tells me that there are people out there who want me to do this work. For those who did not contribute during the campaign, please consider adding your vote of support to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


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The state of Virgin Galactic

The state of Virgin Galactic. Key quote:

One of the great things about Galactic is that it’s still built on a non-government market — that is to say, the individual spacefarer market, the space tourist market, call it what you will. As you know, we’re now over 400 people [who have paid deposits for a spaceflight], and over $55 million dollars in deposits. None of that is based on a government program. I think that’s really encouraging. It’s a sign that there are markets outside the government, and that you can build a human spaceflight business around those markets.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Kelly Starks

    Excluding Virgin Galactics orbital work which is focused almost solely on the NASA market.

  • Chris L.

    I didn’t know Virgin was offering orbital flights to anyone, let alone NASA.

  • Kelly Starks

    VG recently allowed it was co funding 2 companies development of launch systems to support the possible commercial crew transport (crew to ISS) contract for 2015-2020, and specified they would also carry tourists with the crews.

    Note they mentioned it could also support Bigelow station, that wouldn’t be enough to warrent development.

  • Kelly, so didn’t you just contradict yourself? How’s that cognitive dissonance going?

  • Chris L.

    If there is a market for suborbital flights (and VG obviously thinks there is), why wouldn’t there be a market for orbital ones?

  • Chris, why even ask? The Russians have sold every seat they’ve ever made available. They haven’t even discovered the price point yet. Worse yet, they force the customers to go through the horrible cosmonaut training, and they do it. They recently just announced they’ve increased production to provide 3 more seats per year starting in 2013. What more evidence do you want?

  • Kelly Starks

    > Kelly, so didn’t you just contradict yourself?


  • Kelly Starks

    > If there is a market for suborbital flights (and VG obviously thinks there is), why wouldn’t there be a
    > market for orbital ones?

    Theres obviously some market. But at the $50 million per seat the Rusians are chargnig for a ride on the Soyuz, they’ve only found a couple buyers. Not a real problem given the Rusians can’t build a lot of Soyuz, and its currently fully booked just carrying the handfull of folks the ISS can support. (Effectivly to fly a tourist a NASA or Russian (or other) astrounaut doesn’t get to go.) But that size tourist market, of a couple folks ever couple years, is to small to warrent designing or building stuff just to support tourists. If the cost was a lot less, you’ld likely get a lot more tourists. But no one knows how many at what cost, so they can’t work out a profitable busness plan.

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